Globally, the 26 richest people in the world now have as much wealth as the poorest 3,8 billion people, and the relentless spewing of carbon emissions is pushing the planet toward catastrophic climate change. -Marc Benioff-
Since Greta marched through our part of the world, I have been heartened. We’re seeing more young people fighting for their survival. Or at the very least, claiming their right to a brighter future.
On Black Friday, many youths protested to make people aware of how our consumerism is destroying the planet. They sat in streets blocking traffic and walked peacefully through large stores holding signs and interacting with customers. They played dead on the ground, invoking scenarios of climate doomsday.
Watching news clips around these events, I noticed that many shoppers seemed quite indifferent to the protests happening around them. They were just happy to get the deals that they came for. I don’t think they understand the connection between their shopping habits and the Earth’s present plight. Or maybe they get the connection, but they are choosing not to believe that the situation is dire. Which is awfully handy, it allows us to continue our habit, to get our shopping fix.
In the U.S., Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving. And that is such a contradiction! Can we truly be thankful for all our blessings one day, then participate in a shopping frenzy the next? I love the idea of Buy Nothing Day instead. Also, some companies are boycotting the trend—placing people and the planet over profit. See that article here. I know how practical it is to order presents from Amazon, but I’ve decided not to do that anymore. All the cardboard they use for shipping uses up a lot of trees! And Mr. Bezos doesn’t need my business, but local shops and artisans do.
Connecting With Others
How can we shift to a less harmful way of celebrating Christmas? Could we downsize yet still retain the magic? I think so. I actually think that keeping things less commercial will amp up the magic. By showing our love and appreciation to others more through our gestures and words than by our presents, we can make those connections that create wonderful memories and relationships.
Can we share ideas around this? What are the Christmas traditions that have made the holidays magical for you over the years? What are some of the best and most thoughtful gifts that you’ve ever been given? My all-time favorites have been: a basket–woven for me by my uncrafty husband, a song written by my daughter and a trail in the woods made by my other daughter. I treasure the handmade gifts that were sewn, knitted, crocheted, painted or cooked up just for me.
And if handmade isn’t up your alley, think about giving experiences as gifts. Tickets to a show, a gift card for a spa day, a workshop or a restaurant will support a local business. And it’s something that you can experience alongside your loved ones, which amplifies the magic!
Happy holidays, truly!